How to Add Details to a Horse Drawing

Four Methods:Drawing The Horses BodyManes and TailsLegs and Face MarkingsTack and Equipment/Final Steps

If you are an experienced artist or horse lover, you'd probably already know what to add to a horse drawing. But when drawing a horse for the first time you wouldn't know what to draw on the horse to make it look better. Here are some steps and items to draw.

Method 1
Drawing The Horses Body

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    Draw the horse's, body do not colour. I usually start with the head because its easier for me. Make sure the legs, neck and face seem to scale or else you may have an odd looking body/horse. Don't add details like hair/mane or tails yet.
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    When you have the body finished, take a few minutes to look at the drawing. What type of horse do you think it looks like, is it a pony, a draft, or a normal riding horse? Does the picture seem like the horse is running? Standing? Rearing? Bucking? What background do you think should go with it?(If you don't want a background ignore the question.) Is it at the fair, in the wild, in a pasture, or simply in a stall?
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    Paint horses and Appaloosa horses: if you drew a horse of those two breeds add white markings on their colourful coats. Paint horses usually have splashes of white all over their body. Appaloosa's can be white with brown or black spots which is called the Leopard coat, they can be a pure colour such as black and have white spots known as the Snowflake colour. Or Appaloosa's can be any colour with a white hind-quaters which the colour is known as white blanket.(When they have a white blanket they usually have white spots around the pure white area.)

Method 2
Manes and Tails

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    MANES: If you decide your horse is depicted as running, think of a mane position that goes with its body, or else you could have a running horse with a straight 'down the neck' mane when it should have a 'scattered' mane(the mane would be flowing backwards and straight up in the air.If the horse is standing draw its mane straight down the neck. If the background makes it look windy draw the mane flowing sort of backwards in places. If the horse is rearing draw the mane flying back away from the neck(the mane shouldn't touch the neck only at the roots.) If the horse is bucking draw the mane what-ever way you like, just make sure its in the air.
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    TAILS: A Running horses' tail will fly out behind the horse, but if the horse looks Arabian draw the tail held up high(like a flag). A standing horses' tail is your choice. A rearing horse will have the tail flowing on an angle like this--> \ A bucking horse will have the tail high in the air by the back legs, it will also have a curve in it.
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    If your drawing is a pony make sure to add layers of pencil streaks to make the mane look thick, draw the mane at a medium length.A draft horse usually has a short mane with with not as much hair layers. But some drafts such as the Gypsy Vanner have extremely long manes with thick layers.Normal riding horses manes can vary, chose the length/look you think fits.
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    Remember when drawing manes and tails, just go with what look suits best with the horses action. Feel free to add braids or other hair styles that look good, experiment with what braid look seems the best. (By braid look I mean that there are many braid styles for horses, like the jumpers and the special draft braids). Add in ribbons in the mane or tail if you think it goes with the scene. If the horse is at a fair in the drawing, add a bow on the tail.(Different coloured bows on tails can mean lots of things like: I kick, I bite, I'm for sale, I'm a stallion, mare, or a yearling, Etc.

Method 3
Legs and Face Markings

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    When drawing a draft remember to draw in the 'feathering'. Feathering is the long white bunches of hair that usually grow long enough to cover drafts hoofs/hooves. Some types of drafts don't have feathering, just add some extra hair to the horses hocks/ankles.
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    Do you want your horse to have leg markings? Horses have white marks on legs called markings, not all of them have them. Choose what type of styles of leg markings you want like stockings, socks, coronet or even plain. If you show the horses face remember to add a white marking if you like, since most horses have them their too. The style could be blaze, stripe, star or snip.

Method 4
Tack and Equipment/Final Steps

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    Once you are done adding those details, you can add tack or equipment, such as: Saddles, bridles, saddle blankets, breast plates, horseshoes, halters with or without lead rope, polo wraps/leg wraps and ear bonnets. Make sure to choose a style of equipment either Western or English or else the horse would look silly all dressed up in dressage equipment(an english competition) with a bulky western saddle. If you like even add a rider.
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    Once done all that, colour your horse! Colour the equipment too! If the horse is suppose to look real use black or brown for the leather saddles or bridles since that is the most common colour for them.

Article Info

Categories: Drawing Animals